Ken Griffin certainly isn’t afraid to be outspoken when it comes to Bitcoin. Over the years he’s launched several scathing attacks on the cryptocurrency, so his recent comments shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. In a new CNBC interview, he’s stood by his negative stance towards Bitcoin, declaring its popularity and presence to be a “head-scratcher.”
Money in Bitcoin is Money Wasted
Griffin was talking at New York City’s Delivering Alpha Conference, with the Citadel CEO clearly having Bitcoin – once again – in his crosshairs. He said that he “still scratches his head” about Bitcoin, as he simply doesn’t understand the world’s fascination with it. Specifically, he feels that the youngsters of today are simply wasting time by investing in Bitcoin, believing that they should “do something more productive than invest in digital currencies.” It’s a well-known fact that the cryptocurrency market draws in a younger crowd of buyers, as it bypasses the stodgy and somewhat ridged forms of investing.
Bashing the Younger Audience
The appeal to a younger demographic is clearly an issue that Griffin can’t move past. In an attempt to prove that his point of view is the right point of view, he made it clear that that none of Citadel’s clients had suggested buying Bitcoin or even investing in the crypto market. “I don’t have a single portfolio manager who has told me we should buy crypto, not a single portfolio manager,” he said. When you consider that other hedge funds have slowly come around to crypto, Griffin’s comment fly in the face of this progress. Griffin has revealed that Citadel is at an impasse, as his company is having an incredibly tough time when deciding whether or not it should be a platform for investing in a product that he “[doesn’t] believe in.”
Bringing Back the Bubble Argument
The most telling comment of his interview came when Griffin said, “There’s no need for cryptocurrencies. They’re a solution in search of a problem.” It’s a major statement, even by Griffin’s standards, but it’s not the first time he’s gone on record to label Bitcoin as pointless. Last year, he made a comparison to the “Dutch tulip bulb mania” of the 1600s, which is a bit of a stretch by anyone’s standards. His parting shot, as it always tends to be, was to call Bitcoin a bubble. Fast forward a year and it’s clear that Griffin’s attitude hasn’t changed.
Remaining Behind the Times
Citadel is a true power player on Wall Street. Having been founded back in 1990, it not only ranks as one of the oldest hedges funds in existence, but it manages more than $30 billion in assets, which shows its undeniable influence. The question is that while others on Wall Street have begun to embrace crypto – just look at BlackRock – Citadel continues to turn away.
The big question is that as the shift on Wall Street continues – even Goldman Sachs is making crypto moves – will Citadel eventually come around to the cryptocurrency market? Given Griffin’s most recent words, we think that it’s pretty doubtful.